Dr. Mary I. Reed Crocker, World Traveler Extraordinaire, went to her final destination Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Born May 20, 1915 in Lima, Ohio, to the late Joseph and Rhea Radabough Reed, Mary enjoyed travel from a young age. Into her 80s, she traveled, often staying in Elderhostels. Her motto could have been “Have suitcase, will travel.”

Crocker, Dr. Mary I.Mary married James Peter Crocker on June 9, 1934, living and teaching school in Michigan.
The family moved to Eastlake, Ohio where the young mother of four was hired as a teacher.
Mary began taking credits towards her BS degree in Education from Kent State University. She graduated with honors. Promoted to supervisor of the in-home teaching program for special needs students, she earned a Master’s degree in Education and Psychology, also from Kent State. Mary earned her EdD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971.

While serving the Willoughby-Eastlake School District, Mary enjoyed a sabbatical consulting for the American Foundation for Overseas Blind in 1963-64. She established the first national educational program for blind children in the Philippines, receiving the Educational Pace-Setter Award from President Richard Nixon’s National Advisory Council for that work. She accepted an honorary PhD in Humanities from the University of the Philippines in 1964.

She was the Director of Education and a professor at numerous colleges and universities, retiring from Florida International University. Mary was guest lecturer and cultural exchange professor in India, Malaysia and China.

Mary was honored with many awards throughout her life including a few of her favorites, the First Compendium of Persons of Eminence in Special Education; Who’s Who Among American Women; the International Who’s Who; and Persons of Eminence of the South.

Again retiring, James and Mary moved to Summit Township, where Mary was named President of the board of the International Institute of Erie and Community Coordinator for the AARP Council of Erie.

Mary had many outside interests. Throughout the years she excelled at gardening and had magnificent roses. She was a talented seamstress, took pleasure in embroidery, crocheting and cards. She shared those interests with her granddaughters, teaching skills and instilling the creativity of these pastimes. She had a passion for round and square dance and in her words appreciated “just having fun”.

James Crocker died April 7, 1982. Mary later moved to Waterford to live with her youngest son Mike and his wife, Margaret. She remained there until suffering a severe stroke June 12, 2002. She moved to Forestview SNF and was a member of the Resident’s Council while participating in many activities.

Survivors include her children: Bud Crocker; LaQuita McCarthy, California; Gaynol Wapotich, Colorado; Michael D. Crocker and his wife, Margaret Ann, Waterford, PA; a sister, Ruth Reed Linton Arban, Montgomery, TX; grandchildren Michelle Sax and husband, James and Marie Crocker-Blum DDS and husband, Dale, Waterford; Jacquelynn Deleon, Lyne McCarthy, Patrick McCarthy and wife Christi, and Jamie Wapotich, California; Tim Crocker, Mike Crocker, Florida; and Lorene Wapotich, Colorado; also 11 great-grandchildren.

This dedicated, driven educator accomplished more, live more and dreamed more than many females born in 1915. She was an inspiration to her family, especially her grandchildren whom she taught to value education, career and family.

At Mary’s request, there will be no funeral services. Donations may be made to Stancliff Hose Company, PO Box 275, Waterford, PA 16441.